Skip to comments.`Arrogant behavior' comes back to haunt US
Posted on 07/20/2003 10:48:58 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
`Arrogant behavior' comes back to haunt USAfter thumbing its nose at the UN, the Bush administration is finding it hard to enlist international support now that it needs help in stabilizing Iraq
Monday, Jul 21, 2003,Page 9
India last week rejected a US appeal for 17,000 troops, and key allies like France and Germany say they won't send troops without backing from the UN Security Council.
With the pullout of some US soldiers delayed, and the Pentagon even contemplating adding to the 148,000 strong force in Iraq, the US and Britain face mounting challenges in Iraq with little military assistance from other countries.
The difficult position in which the US-led coalition now finds itself in Iraq, analysts say, can be traced to the months leading up to the war, when the US failed to secure the support of key countries and made it clear it would handle former president Saddam Hussein alone if it had to.
"The fact is that the failure to gain international community consensus for the war in Iraq is now responsible for the coalition not having what the United States and Iraq needs to develop politically, economically and socially," said retired Army general William Nash, who is now senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Pentagon has been scrambling to find countries willing to assist the already strained US occupation. Only Poland and Spain -- two countries that backed the invasion -- have offered significant military support with logistical support from NATO.
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, increasingly under pressure from Congress to put differences aside and enlist NATO, told lawmakers last week he would welcome the help of other countries, including Germany and France, two nations that bitterly opposed the war.
But so far those calls have gone unheeded, in part because of the "arrogant behavior" exhibited by Bush's administration in the months leading up to the war, says Leon Fuerth, who served as former vice president Al Gore's national security adviser.
"The [Bush] administration needlessly offended people and scared people with its behavior," said Fuerth, now a professor of international relations at George Washington University, in a phone interview.
Bush administration officials, however, assert the US had multilateral support for the war, pointing to a list of some 50 countries that offered a variety of political or logistical support, including Poland and Spain.
But most of those countries have not provided, as the military says, "boots on the ground."
The US is reviewing its options, including the possibility of widening the UN role in Iraq, passing another resolution that explicitly asks nations to provide troops, or pursuing a collective role for NATO.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday he has been talking to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan about a new UN mandate, but added they were only preliminary discussions.
The deteriorating situation in Iraq requires the US involve other countries, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as former president Jimmy Carter's national security adviser.
Brzezinksi said the diplomacy before the war has come back "to haunt us" and the Bush administration must quickly bring an international approach to governing Iraq and a greater role for NATO.
"Unless the United States moves more quickly to do two things -- grant much more authority to the Iraqis much sooner and to internationalize the overall occupation -- we will not have the kind of international support needed militarily and financially," Brzezinski said in an interview.
Regardless of the bitterness over the war, many countries seem willing to put aside those differences and join the effort to secure Iraq's future and alleviate the burden on the US, he said.
While the US explores options, there is debate within the Bush administration on which course to take. While US diplomats see the benefits of a wider UN role, the Pentagon has been reluctant to involve the UN in military operations, and certainly would not be willing to put US troops under a UN command.
Jack Spencer, a national security analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said he also believes the US must soon bring the UN and NATO into the fray, but rejects assertions the US should have gotten more international support before invading Iraq.
"Had we waited around to build a military coalition we would not have gotten this war over as quickly as we did with the relatively few numbers of casualties," he said.
Who's being arrogant now. If the fate of Taipei were determined by "international opinion" the PRC would be allowed to take over Taipei. There aren't a lot of countries that would stand up to China. Quite a few countries would consider being on the PRC's good side is more imortant than the freedom of the people of Taipei.
The writer seems to take the view that the UN countries, e.g., France and Germany, would help US(A) after taking down one of their Arab economic allies, that the Europeans would forgive a non-democrat party US president whom they are at idealogical odds.... What this writer does not understand those countries like France and Germany fail to grasp is that their idealogical war with the US, coupled with the US war on terrorism (read Economic War with Europe) is already like a two locomative german train wreck waiting to happen. A more accurate protrayal of US diplomatic and military problems can be traced to French designs that place a counter-weight preminum against any English or US gains - the French have actually positioned themselves against the US, and by extension the English in a way as to eventually draw the EU into a political quagmire against the Anglo-Americans and Free Trade.
India has sevre reasons to not help the US, e.g., Pakistan/US diplomatic/military joint efforts. Pakistan has always been a Chinese surrogate to counter the Russia (Soviet Bloc)-Indian Alliance in that region. The US is trying to wean Pakistan off the Chinese orbit much in the same fashion Egypt and Jorgan were "bought" in the late seventies.
To miss these points makes it impossible to fully appreciate the situation at the UN, in the EU or the US, let alone the ME.
They called us and our President every name you can imagine and they say we thumbed our nose?
By these countries refusing to help just shows that cared more about Saddam then they did the Iraqi people
You've posted a concise, factual, rational reply, that is filled with common sense to boot.